RICHMOND-Like many youngsters, seven-year-old Tiffany loves McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, Sesame Street, the color pink, and the song Pop Goes the Weasel. And with her favorite stars being Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh, and her favorite movies being The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, it’s safe to say that she absolutely loves everything Disney. Although Tiffany may have many of the same interests as other children, she is very special. She suffers from cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and has a history of seizures. She had surgery in January to improve her walking, but she still relies on strollers and requires assistance with most activities.
So when Wish Coordinator Melissa North of Kids Wish Network heard about Tiffany and her wish to play with her favorite characters at their home in Disney World, Melissa quickly went to work to get her an invitation for a play date. Not only would Tiffany and her family get to enjoy Disney and other exciting Orlando amusement parks, they would soon be sharing special moments at Give Kids the World in Orlando, Florida, a magical resort full of laughter, joy and hugs, catering to the special needs of families who have children with life threatening illnesses.
While at Give Kids the World, Tiffany and her family ate at the resort’s whimsical restaurants and one of her favorite moments was getting an early Christmas present from Santa Claus, who visits the kids each week. They also took part in all the fun-filled activities offered to all of its special guests and Tiffany’s mother said, “It was fantastic, we didn’t want to leave.”
During their vacation, the family enjoyed a full Orlando experience, visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, Sea World and Universal Studios. Highlights for Tiffany were watching Shammu splash the audience at Sea World, and of course meeting Mickey Mouse and the Lion King at the Magic Kingdom. “ Disney treated us like royalty,” said her mom. However, Tiffany’s absolute favorite part was meeting Barney at Universal Studios. All attractions were compliments of Give Kids the World and Kids Wish Network.
Tiffany’s mom said they had a wonderful time and that they wished they could have stayed longer. “It was so much more than we ever expected it to be,” she said. No matter what the future may hold for this little girl, she and her family will always be able to look back to a magical place in their memories where dreams really do come true.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know of a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call (813) 891-9374 or toll free at (888) 918-9004. You can also visit Kids Wish Network’s web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.